The Governor’s Budget and Education in Minnesota

Governor Dayton released his new state budget where all levels of education from preschool to higher ed would receive increased funding.  Dayton said his budget proposal would help Minnesota students get a good start by first boosting the state’s pre-K programs.  He has set aside $92 million in support for early learning alone.

Check out what educators have to say about his proposed budget and get more details here.

Advocacy Spotlight – A Teachers View of Achievement Gap by Tobi Kreifels

By: Tobi Kreifels, JLM Member

The Achievement Gap at its very core is simply “equity.” It is not an achievement gap because all of our children can achieve and they all have talents and skills, some that are recognized in standardized testing and some that aren’t recognized by standardized testing. It is sometimes called an “opportunity gap” because it really exemplifies the discrepancy of opportunities for differing cultures and socioeconomic statuses. In the end, it always comes back to the very simple and straight forward idea of “equity.”

When we are achieving equity all children don’t just receive shoes, but all children receive shoes that “fit.” When all children receive a shoe that may be equal, but when they receive a shoe that fits that is equitable. Equal doesn’t necessarily mean equitable. Children need more than just a shoe. What good is a shoe if it doesn’t fit? Children need a shoe that fits as well as an education that fits their needs.

When we discuss equity we refer to the conversation as a “courageous conversation.” A courageous conversation takes courage and the realization and acceptance that it may not have closure. Everyone might not agree, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t learn from one another. It may include a very honest conversation about the success of “black and brown children” or even a discussion on how your skin color affects your view of the world.

No matter, which way you address the achievement gap it always comes back to being equitable for all. Achieving equity should be the goal of the Junior League. We need to begin here.

How Cooking Advances Learning


Most family’s would agree, dinner will make it to the table quicker if the kids are out of the kitchen. Blogger Laura Grace Weldon says getting kids involved in the cooking process will advance their learning.  Research has shown that children who participated in household tasks starting at age three or four were more likely to succeed in adulthood. Take a look at her post on

Advocacy Webinar: How a Bill Becomes a Law

Minnesota Council of NonprofitsJoin the Minnesota Council of NonProfits each month for an engaging topic related to nonprofit advocacy rules, strategies and outcomes. Learn from various nonprofit leaders with expertise in state budget issues, grassroots and direct lobbying strategies and civic engagement writ large! Each hour-long webinar is free and can be accessed from anywhere around the state.

This month (January 30th), learn how to take your “great idea” and make it a legislative reality. This webinar will discuss the legislative process, including finding a bill author, bill drafting, testifying in committee and tips for successful implementation once passed.

Click here for more information and to register.